Breen was in the thick of the fight for victory last year, going into the final day just 13.5sec off the lead in his Citroën C3. But he suffered a spin on the first run through the Gwydir speed test and eventually finished fourth.
“I’d desperately love to get a podium, but these guys are right at the top of their game and there’s a championship fight very much on,” said Breen, who also has an eye on securing a seat with the Korean manufacturer for the season-closing Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
“I was close last year and we were right up there until the final morning. The main thing is for me to do the job Hyundai wants me to do – everything comes from there.”
Breen tested in Wales earlier this month, where, despite a week of late summer sunshine and high temperatures, the team found a wet road in the Dyfi Forest complex.
“It’s vital to have a wet test,” said Breen, “and we found somewhere which retained the water. It was out of the way of the sun and under the trees and it was good. We had the bowser there as well, just in case we needed to dampen it down again.
“The test went really well. We worked on the car through the day and I felt really confident in it. I’m really happy with the way it finished and I definitely think we have the package to do something good.”
The Irishman made a superb i20 debut in Finland, leading Hyundai’s trio of cars for much of the event before dropping back to seventh to allow team leader Thierry Neuville passed.
“Coming to Wales with the experience of Finland, I definitely feel more confident and comfortable in the car,” said Breen, who was second fastest on three consecutive stages on his debut.
“Those times we set in Finland just give you that little edge to keep going and going. The times gave us the confidence to think, yes we can do this. Hopefully we’ll have that again in Wales.”